Privatization of Public Education, Racial Equity, Teachable Moment

Radical Right-Wing Groups Have Infiltrated JCPS Organizations and Are Spreading Misinformation

A coalition is forming! Join us as we band together to fight the latest attacks on public education and our people as lawmakers nationwide attempt to deny the right of every student to learn an accurate and comprehensive US History. Sign up for our email list to get updates on meetings, strategies and other ways you can support our students, teachers and public schools during this historical time.

Be on the look out for those claiming that “Critical Race Theory” is divisive and teaches hate. These people may be in your child’s school’s parent teacher group, on your Facebook feed, attend the same church, or even be in your own family. If they make this intellectually lazy claim, prod them for details. You will learn that their claims can be easily debunked. They have likely not done any research, but instead are simply repeating divisive and hateful messaging they’ve heard elsewhere, perhaps from people they trust. The originators of this untruth are usually those who want to keep others under their feet. People at the head of an organization, a committee, a parish or a household. Usually, white men.

It’s almost as if they WANT public schools to fail so they can bring in charter schools and profit off our tax dollars while simultaneously denying quality education to those who don’t have the means. 

These claims have nothing to do with what Critical Race Theory actually is or what it does. But since CRT is a college-level course, and none of us has the spare time or funds required to master that curriculum just to figure out who to believe, let’s cut to the chase.

What you need to know:

  1. Critical Race Theory is not taught in JCPS, or any public primary or secondary school in Kentucky, for that matter. This is a solution looking for a problem and “much ado about nothing.”
  2. Critical Race Theory is college-level legal coursework curriculum. It’s just that. A theory. It focuses on how race has played a role in disparate outcomes between white and non-white persons in the criminal justice system. That’s it. It doesn’t teach hate. It doesn’t blame white people for slavery. None of that nonsense.
  3. The bill that has been introduced in Kentucky does not mention Critical Race Theory, but instead lists a dozen concepts public school employees must not discuss with their students.
  4. Failure to comply exposes the school district to thousands of dollars in fines.
  5. Many of the concepts it prohibits teachers from teaching either don’t happen, or are already illegal, including acts of treason. Most of the 12 provisions are unnecessary, redundant and superfluous, clearly to create disinformation and spread fear.
  6. Of the few provisions that actually change the laws on the books, they serve more to protect white feelings than they do to protect Black lives.
  7. The bill’s language and threat of punishment will have a chilling effect on teachers’ ability to provide their students with factual historical information, regardless of context, and denies students their right to a quality public education.
  8. The bill would take authority to supervise employees away from local district leaders and place it in the hands of the Attorney General, currently Daniel Cameron. It eliminates stakeholders’ abilities to hold board members accountable to what is taught and what is prohibited.
  9. The bill would violate free speech, while protecting corruption and structural racism.
  10. This is a waste of resources. This is a lawsuit they are likely to lose. We don’t have money for textbooks, but we have money to fight this in court? Where are our priorities again?
  11. Groups that are supportive of this bill have demonstrated ties to ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council), the Koch Brothers, Mitch McConnell, Matt Bevin, and radical right wing organizations, to name a few.
  12. Fearmongerers spreading these concepts have infiltrated many grassroots and social media groups, allowing this misinformation to be spread unchecked. They are running for school boards and other top seats, and in fact, this language has already become law in many other neighboring states and school districts.
  13. Please be outspoken and vigilant when you encounter this messaging. Feel free to tag Dear JCPS on social media if you need backup.
  14. If only lawmakers would spend half the energy looking for ways to help and support our public schools as they do they do figuring out how to tie our hands and punish us, while demanding more with no additional funding, we might actually get somewhere. It’s almost as if they WANT public schools to fail so they can bring in charter schools and profit off our tax dollars while simultaneously denying quality education to those who don’t have the means. 
  15. More information will be forthcoming about a coalition that is forming, as well as strategies to support our students, teachers and our public schools. Click here to join our email list.

Here are some additional links you may find helpful:

Link to KY’s Proposed Bill (LRC)

Statement from JCPS Chief Equity Officer Dr. John Marshall (Courier-Journal)

Metro Council Discusses Critical Race Theory (WHAS11) 

Debating Critical Race Theory with Joe Fischer and Gerald Neal (KET Tonight)

Statement from Save Our Schools Kentucky

Black History Matters

Does Academic Freedom Shield Teachers as States Take Aim at Critical Race Theory? (EdWeek)

This week’s Forward Radio program, That Racist Anti-CRT Bill